Metaliteracy and its Global Ties

In today’s society, the need to be more metaliterate has grown exponentially and has taken on a new role of coexisting between countries across the world. In the video titled “Media Literacy for Global Understanding,” it demonstrates how a third grade class in PA had communications with students at a university in Kuwait. This connection enabled each culture to learn about the other to improve and promote culture understanding. Without the new programs that technology has created today, this form of communication would not be able to exist. Simple pen pal letters would not work best these days as postage would be expensive and an immediate response would not be available.  

This clip also allows shows the young third graders that they are more than a student who simply learns. These students have become producers and authors of their own work as the teachers define the roles of metaliteracy. This establishment connects with a previous assignment we had in which talked about the circle of a metaliterate learner and how they have more than just one role. These students become a participant and collaborators to promote global understanding. They also act as teachers as they teach the students in the other country about their life in the PA or in Kuwait.

What these third grade teachers taught their students about the culture in Kuwait, they took it a step further than just reading books and/or learning information from the internet because of the advances in technology. For instance if I wanted to talk to one of my friends who went to England to study abroad, there are various forms of technology that I could use to talk to her. I could communicate via social media (Facebook and/or Twitter), e-mail, or I could actually have “face to face” conversations with her through Skype or Facetime.

One important thing that I took away from this clip is when one of the teachers commented how this process must be ongoing and should continue on through their years.  #Metaliteracy is not static in nature and should always be taught as a progressive movement.


Metacognition and its Role

I’ve come across the term “metacognition” several times before but it wasn’t until recently that I really was able to understand what it means. Metacognition is defined as “thinking about thinking,” which reminds me of the movie Inception in some aspect. The whole idea of the movie is that you must enter into a state of mind that allows you to gain access into your subconscious. In the movie this is done when the characters are put to sleep, but in real life it involves consciousness. The subconscious holds all of your thoughts and feelings that you are currently unaware of thinking and/or feeling. It becomes the place where all things hidden, whether good or bad, are stored.

To actively think about one’s thinking, an individual must understand, evaluate, analyze and critique their thinking habits. In other words, one must know their strengths and weaknesses about how they learn and understand the world around them. Knowing your peaks and pits of learning is one of the keys to success in today’s dominating world.

When looking up information online it is critical to understand and evaluate the information provided on that website. For instance, when using the website Wikipedia it is important for the user to understand the limitations of this website. It is common knowledge that anyone can post information to this website and it is not only restricted to professionals of that subject. Thus, it becomes up to the user to evaluate the information that they are using from this website. They must know the parameters in which to use and not use (trust) information obtained. After determining the credibility of the website, it is important for the user to organize the information in a productive manner that will help advocate their position on a particular topic, which is when metacognition comes into play.

Metacognition is also important when determining which database to use to find information. It is important to understand too the parameters of the searches being conducted. The user must actively type in key words that will lead them to find the desired results. The user must be as specific and/or general in relation to the type of information desired to obtain. Thus, the user is using metacognition to evaluate the terms that are being used for the search parameters and to again critique and evaluate the type of information being presented.





Welcome to the dog-eat-dog world of a metaliterate learner

As an evolutionary process of human beings, survival of the fittest still remains strong. It’s all about who comes out on top? Who’s the boss of whom? Who’s the aggressor and who’s the subordinate?

As we begin to fight for the top dog position, it is only natural to include the role of technology in our successes and fails as human beings. In today’s culture, technology has become more of an instinct and less of a habit as we begin implementing the use of it at a younger age every year. With this incorporation of technology into our everyday lives, our identities begin to expand immensely. We aren’t just labeled as a student anymore. Our roles have opened up to include, but not limited to, a researcher, publisher, producer, collaborator, teacher, author, translator, communicator, and participant.

For instance, if I wanted to look up all of the information scientists have found in their studies on the effects of depression and anxiety in children for a paper in one my psych classes, I can easily access the psycINFO database from UAlbany’s website and search there. Thus, I’ve become a researcher in my own sense as I’m actively searching and compiling data. In addition to being a researcher, I’ve also become a communicator and teacher as I further relay the findings to the instructor and my fellow classmates, in which I am actively providing them with new information.

If it wasn’t for the advances in technology, I would not be able to go online and find the psycINFO database. In fact any and all database wouldn’t even exist without technology! If technology hadn’t advanced as it has, we’d all be searching for a physical copy of a book, journal, magazine, etc.  The physical process of obtaining information would take much longer than simply logging on to the internet. However, technological advances have helped the actual processing time for finding physical copies of a book as a library cataloger has been made. At UAlbany, the library catalog Minerva has cut down the time to hunt for a book significantly as it provides the individual a call number. This call number directs the individual to a specific location within the library for where this book will be. Instead of hunting through the aisles of books, this standardized system ensures that the book will only have one destination and won’t be transferred to another section.

In addition to supplying information to an individual on a daily basis, technology has also enabled more people to find their voices. Through technology, we have increased the means in which we are able to communicate amongst others. Not only am I able to communicate with someone in the room next to me, but I have the capabilities to communicate with someone from China if I wanted to! I can have direct communication with them through chat, e-mail, and Skype, but I also can communicate my thoughts and ideas through the creation of a website and/or a blog such as this. And I too have the ability to see what they have decided to produce and publish for everyone to see.

The limitations of technology are very small in comparison to how much information it has provided for us now and what it will continue to produce for us in the future.  Technology has allowed us to become a metaliterate learner as it has provided a destination to access the numerous mediums of information in today’s world. Thus, I do believe that society has become better off today than we were 50 years ago. I don’t think that society would have been able to access this information and knowledge as we’re capable of doing now. However, the only drawback I see of our technology-dependent world is that our personal connections begin to fade. People are more prone to talk to someone, with whom they’re interested in, via some technological device over face to face conversation. Does this lack of interpersonal connections become an issue in comparison to the productivity of technology as a whole? To answer this, I think we have to wait 50 more years.

In general, all of the advances in technology have seriously opened up numerous doors for our thirst and hunger for knowledge.

Thanks to #metaliteracy.

What Metaliteracy means to me

As I approach to answer this question, I find it only natural for me to break down the word Metaliteracy into its two parts. First off, meta- means “together” or “along with” and -literacy means to be “well-educated,” usually pertaining to the ability to read and write effectively. With this in mind, I understand Metaliteracy to mean the combining of various forms and mediums of information together. In other words, it becomes the destination in which a multitude of information can be found. Despite it acting as a destination, Metaliteracy is never static in its nature as new mediums of information are constantly evolving and adapting every single day. Its dynamic qualities offer an individual their own rights or a sense of self to the information being presented.

From this course, I hope to establish a more efficient and effective approach to finding information for the various scholastic assignments that I will receive in my future as a student, as well as any research I will participate in my future career of school psychology. In today’s society, learning how to find, incorporate, critique, evaluate, and cite information is a demanded skill to possess. Thus, it is has become all the more important to me to be able to say that I have this skill. Being more metaliterate can essentially be thought as one’s ability to survive in today’s dog eat dog world.